Freshness from classroom to home
Sometimes fresh produce is hard to come by, but Douglas High School agriculture students are making that easier for the community by providing agricultural awareness and fresh products straight from the classroom. They have created an agriculture store and are encouraging the community to stop in.
“Everything we are providing is ag-related product,” said Robin Futch, the agricultural teacher and FFA Advisor. “Whether it’s products we grow and manage here or what students bring in, it is all fresh.”
The store will have fresh fruit and vegetables including tomatoes, squash and apples, seeds for planting, eggs and eventually goat soap.
“We just got a goat and when she is ready to breed we will extract her milk and create soap out of it,” said Futch.
Futch said some other products will be available and would be provided from outside vendors like Tahoe Tony’s Beef Jerky.
While the store is a source of funding for agriculture activities, FFA and scholarships, Futch said some of what the students produce will be donated to the community.
“We’re trying to find that balance to make a little income, but still be able to donate to local food banks within the community,” she said.
Futch said the store is run by all levels of the agriculture students, who are encouraged to participate, whether freshman or senior.
“They learn leadership skills, team work and it’s taking them to another level and giving them that extra hands on experience. They’re also learning about supply and demand regarding specific types of products and where it goes and how it is used,” said Futch.
Senior Sage Costa, one of the students working at the Ag. store, said she is looking forward to the opportunities the store will bring.
“I’m looking forward to learning life skills by talking to customers and helping them find what they are looking for, working the cash register, and learning how a business works,” she said. “I’m also excited about our FFA products. I’m hoping it will bring more awareness to our products and what we are doing and are about.”
The students receive credit for their participation at the store and must keep inventory records, stock, advertise and marketing, learn display and organization and customer service.
“The hardest thing, is keeping everything stocked,” said Costa. “It’s hard to keep enough produce and increase business awareness.”
Freshman Amanda Sneglrove likes how interactive agriculture is and thinks the store adds to that interactive experience.
“It’s more of a fun a class,” she said. “Yes, you have to be serious and can’t goof around, but it’s different from say a math class and for someone who loves animals and the out doors, it’s nice to participate in something that allows me to do so. I think the store adds to it too. It’s a great idea to get money for FFA programs and to just become more involved in agriculture and have more hands on experiences with it.”
Futch said the high school has a wonderful agriculture program and they are trying to take things to the next level to increase agriculture awareness in the classroom and out.
The store is located at Douglas High School in the Agriculture room and is open 2-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 2-3:30 p.m. Friday. Information, call the high school 782-5136 ext. 1839 for Robin Futch.